Friday, April 18, 2014

Impossible Goals and Disappointment

My weekly recap of word count is kind of depressing. I considered not doing a post since it was a letdown this week. Not because I don't want anyone to know I wasn't able to meet my self-imposed goal, but because I'm a little sad about it.

That happens sometimes, though, and if I'm sharing the highs and lows of my writing journey, I have to claim them both. I spent my word count on work writing. While I'm getting paid to write, so it's not a total loss, I feel like I'm helping other people fulfill their goals while mine fall to the side. There's a constant struggle to devote as much time to my writing as other people's writing. I have this strange compulsion to fill my face with food. Yeah, yeah. It's fuel for the body. I'm still racking up a word count for these other people! It's hard to give my writing equal weight and time when it barely makes me any money.

It's clearly not about the money since I still write fiction when it can barely pay for my Internet costs each month. Many people work while writing. I'd have to say that most people write for pleasure while working jobs they hate or barely like. My problem is that both my fiction writing, job writing, and blog writing feel the same. My fingers are flying across the keys all day long. Okay, sometimes they're struggling and fumbling across the keys, but the motion is the same. After writing all day for pennies, I need a different activity, too.

These are not excuses or whines about the state of my poor fingers and shoulders. It's an acknowledgement that sometimes it's hard, and maybe I should stop giving myself these huge goals. They might be a set up for failure.

I'm still determined to do 25k words per week. My word count since last Friday was 5318. Pretty far off the goal. Friday through Sunday are my big writing days, so I have a marathon of writing planned in the days ahead. No work writing. It'll entirely be for pleasure, though the word pleasure might be stretching things a little. Writing is not a spa treatment with wine and chocolate, but there's immense satisfaction after a productive day. Something I never feel when I'm fulfilling the goals and word counts of clients.

That upper line is where I'm supposed to be.
How's that for a rambling post?

Anyone in the same boat where they give themselves almost impossible goals and are disappointed when the goals aren't met?


  1. I used to be so bad for doing this that I gave up even trying to set goals.16 years of motherhood have definitely helped me become more realistic! I remember once when our kids were little, saying to my husband when he was getting frustrated at how long something was taking that we had to double the time we expected it to take, and then double it again. But for sure I can empathise with your feelings. I am working on a novel just now and it's going more slowly than I'd like. I take heart that my first one turned out a far more compassionate book than it would have been if I'd finished it when I wanted to.
    Good luck with your 25,000 words! (I'll be happy I reach 5318!)

    1. I've lost all the patience that motherhood forced upon me. I think books take as long as they take sometimes. I am coming to believe you can't force them by sheer will to get them written.

      Or maybe I'm reaching for excuses for my bad word count.

      Good luck on your next novel and its word count!